Well, by now you know that we did this thing where we all showed you our bathing-suited selves. And I was thinking how cool it would be if other editors of women's publications that feature women in bathing suits would consider joining us. So I sent out this letter:
"Dear Anna, Glenda, Linda, Cindi, Robbie, Vanessa, Anne, Joanna, Martha, Christene, Elaine, Stella, Eva, Joyce, Betty, Lauren, Michele, Ashley, Clare, Lesley, Meredith, and Michelle -
I hope you are doing great. I am participating in a project that I thought you might want to join me in. It is called Show Us Your Swimsuit Bodies and its goal is to remind all women that a swimsuit body is something they have already. That it doesn't have to look like the images of other bodies they often see us editors as promoting. That the beauty is in their differences. And that there is really only one step to being bikini ready and that step is to put on a bikini.
What better way to demonstrate that than to do it ourselves? So my staff here at xoJane and I just got our pictures taken wearing our bathing suits the other day. No preparation, no tanning, no special exercise routines, no diets, no waxing, just us as we are stepping into bathing suits for our readers to see and then join us by sending in their bathing-suited images.
I am asking other Editors-In-Chief of women's publications that show women in bathing suits to join us in showing their unphotoshopped bathing-suited selves too. Most of us have over the years asked other women to pose in bathing suits in our publications, but have never done it ourselves. So here's your chance!
Now, I want to be clear that I'm not trying to coerce or shame any of you into participating. That is the opposite of what I'm trying to accomplish. Instead, I want to share the positive experience we all had in rejecting that pressure to look a certain way before we feel "allowed" to be seen in a bathing suit. And I hope to encourage all our readers to do the same.
If all goes well, this effort should end with a beautiful and inspiring gallery of our beautiful and diverse readerships.
Will you do it?
Love love either way,
PS We are going to go live with this on Monday. Please do not reveal anything about it until then."
So when that gallery of YOUR beautiful swimsuitted selves goes up here next week, I'm thrilled to say it will include images of Essence magazine's Vanessa Bush, and Betty Wong, Editor-in-Chief of Fitness, and maybe some others to come. The notes they sent me with their images and what they're saying about why they're doing it has given me renewed hope for the future of women's media.
Are you going to be part of this feature? And if not, why not? The reasons for not participating I've received from editors have also been enlightening, just as xoJaners' own issues about participating continue to be. As I said in my note to them, love love either way.